• LocationSão Paulo - State of São Paulo, Brazil

Movimentarte

We use the dance as a force for transformation. Our goal is to promote respect, resilience and to fight prejudice

The problem we aim to solve:

Why is it so difficult to feel empathy for others? We combat prejudice and misinformation about people with disabilities.

The solution our project offers:

Throughout dance we help people with disabilities to develop their creativity, motor skills, body awareness, cognitive development and their expressiveness, among other things.

The impact our project had so far:

We assist more than 100 students weekly and we have a direct impact in over 10,000 people.

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Who is behind this project?

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About the project

Movimentarte at the Red Bull Amaphiko Festival

Movimentarte is a non-profit organization with the purpose to promote personal development – especially of those with disabilities – through dance classes, lectures, workshops and events regarding the importance of dance and art.

Our goal is to enhance the development of people with disabilities and to build a bridge for society to enter this universe, always focusing on broader themes such as respect, empathy, diversity and resilience. Though body empowerment, the person with disabilities has a greater autonomy, creating a more efficient and true inclusion in society.

Art helps us express what we cannot say in words, and dancing encourages our creativity, motor skills and cognitive development. Movimentarte also offers professional training in dance for people with disabilities as a way to promote their inclusion in the market and to help prepare those who intend to be professional dancers.

We believe in the power of art as a new way of social transformation

The initiative was created by Flora Bitancout, a Brazilian social entrepreneur. In 2010, while participating in a student exchange in Lisbon, Flora had the opportunity to get in touch with the Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) in London. Back in Brazil, she started a deep research on the combination of Brazilian dances and DMT.

As a result, Flora discovered a huge potential in the area, and started thinking of ways to use dance as a tool for the development of people with intellectual disabilities. She first started the project with kids with down syndrome and saw the influence and transformation that art had in the development of her students. She immediately fell in love with this practice and found her true purpose in life. This is how Movimentarte was created.

Methodology

Flora Bitancourt has developed her method by bringing together Contemporary Dance Practices, Brazilian Dances and her studies on Dance Movement Therapy.

Movimentarte’s methodology suggests that by different dynamics and activities students can develop their own image and body awareness. By taking a journey into one’s unconscious, it is possible to access life stories and memories that are somehow present in one’s body, thus creating an intimate dance that comes from the inside and moves towards the outside world.

Child play with paint at an open activity

Such methodology – currently applied especially for people with intellectual disabilities but which may be used with all sorts of people – is aimed at exploring the personal abilities of each person, rescuing everyone’s own power and expressiveness. The project observes and reinforces how strong dance is as a pre-verbal skill, enabling people without intellectual or emotional conditions to develop content and traumas to be expressed, and also to contact their own selves.

The idea is to offer conditions for these people to contact their feelings, to become free and to find themselves in their own dance, transforming an authentic movement into art. An art that comes from inside and moves towards the outside world to communicate with people.

By empowering the disabled with dance, Movimentarte intends to raise awareness in society for the transformation of human relations, in order to build a world with less judgment and prejudice. The project promotes large-sized events for social inclusion, including artistic performances, lectures, walks and urban intervention, always aimed at transforming the perspective on diversity.

Impact and the future

In 2015, Flora received awards for her innovative initiative and social entrepreneurship, having been acknowledged by institutions such as Laureate Brasil, Youth Action Net, Amigos por el Mundo Disney and Ashoka. Flora was also invited to organize workshops at national and international events, such as FIIS - Festival de inovación Social in Argentina and Encludança, which was held in the Island of Madeira, in Lisbon and in Almada (Portugal).

Now, Flora’s dream is to transform Movimentarte in a path for the transformation of human relations, where people could coexist in harmony with their differences, developing more empathy and love for the others as well as for themselves. In order to do so, the project wants to impact even more the general public, creating opportunities for them to dialogue with disabled people.

The project strongly believes that by empowering people with disabilities, it can transform the way minorities are perceived, giving them more voice and agency, so that they can fight for their rights and show to society that it is about time to stop prejudice and exclusion.

Do you want to help us in this journey? Find us in our website and on Facebook.

Project activity

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We have more than 30 students and 10 institutions interested in our dance classes, but no financial means to pay the cos…

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featured article about your project: https://amaphiko.redbull.com/en/magazine/moving-on-up